The Built Environment, Residential Stability, and Social Relations

Katherine King, Duke University

Physical features of urban neighborhoods including housing and walkable urban form, along with social composition and residential stability, predict perceived neighborhood social relations (cohesion, control, intergenerational closure, and reciprocal exchange) previously linked with downstream health, social, and behavioral risks. Housing building types, especially detached houses and high-rise apartments, significantly predict social relations, both independently and through their association with residential stability. Housing and urban form also have differential associations with social relations outcomes according to the neighborhood socioeconomic status. A gradual pace of redevelopment resulting in historical diversity of housing significantly predicts social relations. Walkable urban form (residential density, mixed land use, and street connectivity) appears less important but shows promise in explainpredicting reciprocal exchange. The finding that physical conditions like housing and urban form have implications for social relations should encourage efforts to develop urban planning policies designed to foster neighborly social relations along with other related beneficial outcomes.

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Presented in Session 4: Reconceptualizing Neighborhood Contexts: Measuring Contexts and Processes